A/N: Thanks so much for the great reviews this story received! I know it's not as long as 'With Love', but I hope it's just as good and you enjoyed it just as much!

Chp. 15 takes places six months after Chp. 14.

***

Adam paced restlessly, Samuel at his heels, as they awaited the arrival of the newest addition to the Lee family. Adam walked over and peeked through the open crack, seeing Jessica lying in bed with her legs up, and Gelsey standing at her feet.

Adam shuddered and turned away, noticing for the first time that he was trembling. 'What for?' he wondered silently, 'Jessica has done this three times before!' He shook his head and smiled weakly: How did Dan live through three births?

Gelsey emerged from the room and met Adam's gaze briefly; she shook her head and hurried into the kitchen. Adam couldn't restrain himself: "What's goin' on?"

"What'd ya' think's goin' on?" Gelsey chuckled, "she's havin' a baby!"

"It's been an awful long time." Adam rubbed between his eyes as he sat; Samuel climbed into his lap.

"No, not really," Gelsey replied, "only four hours." She smiled sympathetically. "It's gonna be a long night, Adam, best get the children into bed. An' you too."

"I can't sleep!" Adam cried.

Gelsey shrugged. "All right . . . " She gathered some more linen and a bucket of water, then disappeared behind the bedroom door again.

Adam waited for another half-hour before sending the children away, Liam smiled knowingly-having been through the births of Miranda and Samuel- and led the other two off to bed. Adam watched them go, then turned his attention back to the door, just waiting for something to happen.

Ten o'clock . . . eleven o'clock . . . midnight . . . one o'clock . . . it was four o'clock in the morning and Adam's eyes were drooping, his head resting on his arm when Gelsey came out of the bedroom holding what looked like a bundle of blankets.

Adam's eyes flew open and he forced himself up as the woman walked over to him and showed him what she carried: "Twins."

"What?" Adam blinked, peering through the blankets and at the two, tiny faces that greeted him with wide, blue eyes. "Twins . . . "

"That's part of the reason why it took so long." Gelsey's face bore a wide smile. "Oh, they're beautiful, Adam."

"Yeah, they are." Adam looked up. "Boys or girls?"

"Boy an' a girl," Gelsey answered, "now, go see your wife."

Adam took his newborn children into his arms and walked into the bedroom, taking a seat by a very tired Jessica. She smiled at him, then at their son and daughter, and asked: "Still like the names we chose?"

"Of course." He smiled too.

"Well then . . . " Jessica gently touched the round cheek of her daughter. "Welcome to the world, Marissa Joy Lee."

"And," Adam said, grinning at his son. "Welcome, Robert Jackson Adam Lee."

***

"We got mail from Kenneth!"

Jessica looked up from changing little Robert's diaper and smiled as Adam entered the room and gave her a kiss, saying: "Hello, Beautiful."

"Howdy, Good-lookin'." Jessica snatched Kenneth's letter from him and tore open the envelope, smiling as she read aloud: "'Dear all, just writin' to let you know how things are going for us down here in the South. The last time we met, I was recently widowed, and-I have to admit-quite a wreck'."

"Yeah," Adam agreed, pouring himself some coffee. "He was."

Jessica looked back at him, then continued reading: "'Since then, I've remarried, to a beautiful woman by the name of Carolyn Marsh. The children are doing just fine, growing up fast. I've found myself a steady job that can provide for my family, thankfully, and I hope all is going well for you. Sincerely, Kenneth'."

Jessica put the letter down and lifted Robert, patting his back gently as she said: "Isn't that nice to hear? It's good Kenneth has found some happiness."

"Yep." Adam sipped his coffee. "How's Marissa's cold?"

"She's better."

Adam went over and lifted the three-month-old girl from her cradle, holding her up and smiling at his daughter, who bore such a close resemblance to his wife.

"How's my girl?" he said.

Liam walked in, clomping his boots much like Adam did, closely followed by Miranda and Samuel. Jessica sat at the table and gestured for the others to join her, dinner was ready.

Adam took Liam's hand, then Jessica's, and bowed his head for their prayer: "Dear Father in Heaven, we're here tonight to enjoy this food that You've blessed us with, an' to thank You for it . . . "

. . . "He's here!" Marissa cried as she burst into the kitchen, "Ma, he's here!"

Jessica dropped what she was doing and raced after her daughter as the young woman ran out of the house; standing outside was a tall, good-looking man next to his horse, grinning at them.

He wore a Navy blue uniform with a yellow bandanna around his neck and a broad-brimmed, light brown hat; Jessica caught her breath as he shook hands with Adam, then quickly embraced him. Liam slowly approached his mother and put his arms around her, whispering: "I'm home, Ma."

"Yes, you are." Jessica squeezed her eyes shut and clung to her son.

What seemed like an eternity ago, Liam had left his home in Wyoming to fight; Jessica had said a tearful good-bye to him, all-too-familiar with the harsh realities of war. She hadn't expected ever to see her oldest boy again, yet here he was . . . alive.

Samuel emerged from the woods, carrying a large deer over his broad shoulders, his face lit up when he recognized his brother, and he immediately forgot about the animal and chose instead to greet Liam. Moments later, Miranda and Robert appeared, and were soon followed by their spouses, Miranda's husband John and Robert's wife, Launa.

"Welcome home, big brother," Samuel said, clapping Liam on the shoulder.

"Thanks." Liam smiled, but Jessica knew better; he was hiding, just like Dan had after the Civil War. No one could come out of a war without being changed, even though that was what Liam was trying to convince them could happen.

"So," Robert said, "how're ya' doin'?"

"I'm fine," Liam answered, "but hungry. Ya' got anythin' to eat, Ma?"

"Of course I do!"

Jessica and Adam hung back as their children went into the house, they watched in silence while Marissa got the dishes and Miranda brought out the food. Liam sat slowly, grimacing slightly, and immediately Samuel asked what was wrong; he shook his head and chose to turn his attention to the food.

"How do you think he is?" Jessica asked.

"Like his father," Adam replied, "he's strong. He'll be okay."

They entered the house and Jessica kissed the top of Liam's head tenderly; he looked up at her and smiled, taking one of her hardened hands in his and squeezing it.

"Reckon we oughta' say grace now," Adam said easily, seating himself at the head of the table.

Without another word, they joined hands. Robert and Launa smiled lovingly at one another, and the young wife and mother-to-be glanced at her shining wedding ring as they clasped hands. Miranda and John leaned closer to each other, their noses almost touching. Samuel and the sister he adored, Marissa, sat close to one another; while Liam, Adam, and Jessica held hands and exchanged looks that held every emotion.

"Dear Father in Heaven," Adam prayed, "we can't quite believe we're all here again . . . it's been so long. Thank You most especially for bringin' our Liam home safe 'n sound." He glanced at the man he had grown to love as a son, and look up to as a person. "An' we pray You'll give us another good year . . . together."

"Amen."

THE END